In addition to regular SBA 7a loans and SBA funding, businesses have been able to ask for additional funding through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and Shuttered Venues Grant. Applications for the PPP closed on May 31 and slow rollouts of the SVG, The Wall Street Journal recently asked, “What is it small businesses actually want from the SBA?” And spoke to advocates, business owners, and the SBA about what the post-pandemic assistance will look like.
Below are the major points answering what entrepreneurs want from the SBA, or you can read The Wall Street Journal’s full article here.
Protect and Rebuild Businesses
Scott Gerber, CEO of the Community Company, told the WSJ, “Strategies might include expanding the agency’s outreach efforts to smaller, newer businesses, as well as giving more support to businesses in minority, rural and disenfranchised communities.” In response, the SBA says they are “designing pandemic-relief programs focused on businesses that are most in need.”
Provide Access to Capital
Traditional SBA loans look at credit scores, and if businesses failed to pay rent or other loans during the pandemic because they didn’t have the revenue, their credit scores have been negatively impacted and they might not be able to get loans. Small business advocates say that the SBA should relax rules for the loans, make sure the information on how to get loans is clear, and help businesses understand what they are eligible for.
Be More Inclusive
We all heard the stories at the beginning of the pandemic about who was and wasn’t getting PPP loans. Similarly, advocates are now pointing out that the SBA should “connect with small businesses that have historically been left behind.”